Music and cheers flooded the Lory Student Center Plaza Friday afternoon as a crowd of students gathered to celebrate the start of the CSU basketball season with a pep rally.
The event was sponsored by Associated Students of CSU and aimed to attract support for the men's and women's basketball teams and encourage attendance at their games. The rally featured the CSU band, cheerleaders, basketball coaches and players and a special appearance by the CSU mascot, Cam the Ram.
"We've got one of the biggest teams in the country and we have great expectations for this year," said Dale Layer, men's basketball head coach.
Layer said arrangements have been made to offer increased seating for students at basketball games. Starting this season, the end-zone seats will be available for students, they were once reserved seats offered only to season ticket holders.
Jeff Dow, assistant coach for the women's basketball team, said he believes the new seating policy will increase student involvement.
"The new seating policy should lend itself to more student interaction and fan involvement," Dow said.
Marty Adamian, a political science s Ph.D. student and lecturer, said he hopes to attend games this year at Moby Arena. He thinks the new seating policy is a good idea because he will be able to see the game better.
"It would be fun to see the game from up-close," he said.
Players from both the men's and women's teams attended the pep rally and were greeted by cheering fans.
Brianna Willhite, a sophomore liberal arts major and a post for the women's basketball team, said she thought the rally was fun, but it was not well publicized.
"I wish that there had been more advertising for (the rally)," Willhite said. "Because I think a lot of people just didn't know it was going to happen."
Casie Shepherd, a freshman open-option major and center for the women's basketball team agreed.
"There really weren't enough people here," she said.
Willhite and Shepherd are both new to the team this year and do not play in games yet.
However, Shepherd said that they are both getting good experience and looking forward to playing next year.
Ryan Brown, a freshmen open-option major and guard for the men's basketball team said he is excited for the new season and hopes for a successful year.
"I think the expectations (on us) are a lot higher this year," Brown said.